Financial Assistance Program

If you’re unable to pay your Essentia Health medical bills, ask about options for financial assistance. You may also review the plain language summary with options on how to pay for your medical care.

Do I Qualify for Financial Assistance?

You may benefit from the Essentia Health Financial Assistance Program if you:

  • Meet certain income and asset guidelines
  • Don’t have health insurance OR your health insurance policy doesn’t provide full coverage for medically necessary care
  • Have big out-of-pocket medical costs and limited ability to pay
  • Applied for other state or local assistance programs, such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

Financial Help for Medications

Need help paying for your prescriptions? Talk to a pharmacy coordinator about financial help available for medications. Call your local Essentia pharmacy to learn more.

How Does Financial Assistance Work?

The Financial Assistance Program provides a discount on eligible medically necessary services provided by Essentia Health. It is not an insurance program, and certain services and providers are not covered.

Income-Based Discounts

Your discount is based on your household income. You may be eligible for a discount of:

  • 100 percent if your household income is less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level

Refer to the table below to see current income and asset guidelines.

2021 FAP Poverty Income Guidelines
Size of
Household Unit*

Poverty Income Guidelines

200% Coverage
(If income is not more than:)

1 $12,880 $25,760
2 $17,420 $34,840
3 $21,960 $43,920
4 $26,500 $53,000
5 $31,040 $62,080
6 $35,580 $71,160
7 $40,120 $80,240
8 $44,660 $89,320

*More than 8 persons in household add $4,540 for each additional person.

Uninsured Discount

If you do not have health insurance, Essentia will first apply the Uninsured Patient Discount to any qualifying services. Then, we’ll use the Financial Assistance Program income-based discount on the remaining balance, if you qualify for the program.

Program Time Period

After enrolling in the Financial Assistance Program, your discount may remain in effect for 12 months after enrollment.

How To Apply For Financial Assistance

Download, complete, and submit an application [PDF] for the Essentia Health Financial Assistance Program. Spanish application [PDF].

Please submit application and supporting documents to Essentia Health, BSC Financial Assistance, 400 E 3rd St, Duluth MN 55805 or email to

You can also fill out an application in MyChart and download the supporting documentation needed to process your application.

You’ll receive notification of your eligibility within 30 business days of Essentia receiving your completed application.

Catastrophic Discount

If you experience a severe illness or injury and your medical bills are greater than $5,000.00 you may qualify for Essentia Health’s Catastrophic Discount. The program is for households with an income above 200 percent of the federal poverty level who have exhausted all other payment options.

Financial Assistance Policy

Review our full Financial Assistance Program Policy [PDF].

Learn About Other Options

If you’re not eligible for the Financial Assistance Program, ask us about other programs that may help you pay your medical bills, such as short-term payment plans and long-term, zero-interest financing.

For uninsured patients who are or have received in-patient care, you can also work with MedData. MedData can help you seek assistance through county, state, and federal programs for your in-patient medical bills. Visit MedData's website for contact information or to learn more.

Contact Us

To speak with a patient account representative, email us or call 218-786-3333, option 2 or 1-800-985-4675, option 2. Monday – Wednesday, Friday 8 am to 5 pm and Thursday 9 am to 5 pm.

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